There are a few things I cannot abide by in life: an overdone steak, a loud ceiling fan, a long ling to the restroom. But high up there on my list is a poorly made mojito. By and far the most sublime use for rum. Piña coladas are too overtly sweet, daiquiris are too much like Icees, Mai Tais are too derived, and Long Island iced teas are too punchy (not to mention how quickly they can knock the unprepared drinker into a state of sheer inebriation).
Now, I do not profess to be a man of spectacular means or spectacular talents, but one thing I know is how I like my drinks (aside from many and often). I have never made a drink through actual measuring, as I believe this takes more than ninety percent of the fun out of the process. Instead, I've always done it by eye (and taste) and simply choose to live with the results. What this does is force me to quickly improve my pouring skills and figure out the proportions I like, lest good booze go to bad use.
My prescription (I refuse to call it a recipe) is as follows.
In a chilled collins glass (if you've got one, lord knows I can't afford proper drinkware):
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- Add a couple of mint leaves; more if you like yours particularly minty and less if you prefer the converse.
- Add simple syrup (an easy recipe for which may be found here) or simply some powdered (not granulated) sugar.
- Muddle gently. No, this does not mean smash them to bits nor simply swish them around. We're looking for a few opened veins, not obliterated leaves. You want to drink a perfectly made cocktail, not spit up mushy leaf debris.
- Add one part fresh lime juice. Bottled juice, while technically acceptable, will certainly produce an inferior drink. But if your own principles (as well as wallet and time allowances) make this necessary, feel free.
- Add two parts white rum. If you use a dark variety, I cannot be blamed for the resultant disaster.
- Add ice to just beneath the rim. If you've muddled properly, the ice should be more than enough to keep the mint leaves in the drink and out of your mouth.
- Finish off with two parts club soda. If you've got a fancy spray bottles (the name completely evades me right now), now would be the time to break it out.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and serve. Or if you've made this for yourself, kick back, open up the latest issue of Vogue, and enjoy.